Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A Carrot By Any Other Name



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However this 'umble umbel is definitely one for the cutting patch rather than the cooking pot. This summer I've been pleased to make the acquaintance of daucus carota 'Black Knight'. Well I think that it's him although his behaviour and mannerisms have deviated slightly from what the blurb says on the seed packet.

Initially seed was sown in 2012, germination occured but then the seedlings seemed to linger in a forever state of soggy suspended animation during that summer that never was. In the end I gave up on them and lobbed them unceremoniously on the compost heap. A decision was made to give them another go this year. Seed was sown on 21st April and this time round the seedlings flourished, producing flowers since around the middle of last month with still lots more to come. The plants have reached about three foot in height bur flop about albeit quite gracefully. They would benefit from some unobtrusive twiggy support but there's no suitable material to hand just now. The foliage is fine and feathery. The flowers last well in water - the one you can see is still going strong after eleven days. The seed packet describes the flowers as crimson - now here I beg to differ as to my eye they are a dusky old rose.

I confess to being slightly puzzle as the seed packet advises that the plant is a biennial but obviously this is not the case as far as the seeds sown this year are concerned. I've been asking myself whether the long, hot dry spell in July affected their normal growth pattern. I wish that I had not so ruthlessly chucked last year's seedlings away as it would have been interesting to see if they had come good this summer. So I can only wonder what will happen when I sow them again next year as they are already on the definite must sow list for 2014. Has anyone else grown this plant and if so what has been your experience?

10 comments:

  1. Carrots are biennial so I would have thought that this would be too. I've found plants doing all manner of strange things this last couple of years with the unpredictable weather, so who knows what will happen next year. I agree with your colour description, dusky rose suits it far better than crimson. I've never grown this before but it looks lovely as a cut flower, definitely one to consider for the cutting garden (of which I never seem to get round to planting up).

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  2. This is a new one on me too, but it is gorgeous. It will go on the list. Thanks Anna.

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  3. I dont know that one at all and I agree it isnt crimson. I am impressed with its vase life, I often find that seed packet says last well in vase and mine dont but them I think the growers actually pick when still in tight bud.

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  4. A lovely flower, no matter what it is, it would be super for cutting.

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  5. No experience myself either, sorry. Looks lovely though

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  6. They are very pretty - I haven't seen the pink sort before, but the white sort grows wild all around us and I love it! Perhaps I'll try some seeds too...

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  7. Beautiful flower head, so pretty in a vase

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  8. All umbellifers are fascinating, this one especially but I only have the botanical form in my garden which isn't as showy. I'd have thought too that its' perennial.

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  9. Thanks for all your comments which are much appreciated :)

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  10. I do like this!!! How unusual though hey - a carrot! I must admit I've neglected picking some of my non-ornamental carrots this year and they have grown some gorgeous flowers that I've never let them have the chance to do before! I might have to pop a few in a vase :)

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.